‘A seed that helps a child grow,’ Children’s Mentoring Connection looking for volunteers

The Children’s Mentoring Connection of Hancock County in Findlay serves over 100 children each year.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - The Children’s Mentoring Connection of Hancock County in Findlay serves over 100 children each year.

Whether it’s reading, writing, math, or just having someone to talk to, they offer volunteers to work with kids.

“We were founded as a Big Brother’s, Big Sister’s organization back in 1974,” Stacy Shaw, the executive director of Children’s Mentoring Connection said.

In 2004 local officials made the decision to transition into an independent agency serving youth ages 6 to 14 in the Findlay, Van Buren, Cory-Rawson, and Arcadia school districts.

“That was so the money we were raising was staying locally to serve our children,” Shaw said.

The Children’s Mentoring Connection serves two needs, community programs, and school-based needs. Shaw explained how community programs work.

“And those are children primarily living with single parents or grandparents, and they voluntarily enroll in our program,” Shaw said.

Shaw said the organization is always in need of new volunteers.

“For somebody to just be present, and to really pour into that child so they know that they’ve got that one person outside of their family that they can really count on week after week or through that entire month and participating in our programs,” Shaw said.

Pat Smith made an instant connection with a fourth-grade student during a reading program while volunteering for the school-based program.

“I thought it would be a lot of me giving and her receiving but I learned a lot, we became friends, and continue even after the program is over,” Smith said.

Smith stayed with that fourth-grade student through elementary school, high school and now as she heads into college.

“One of the things we had in common was a love of reading, so a lot of our community-based trips we’d go to the library and spend time there,” Smith said.

Shaw said her organization is a seed that helps a child grow.

“Helping them to explore those opportunities as well as doing things at the university so they can get familiar with going on to that next step,” Smith said.

To volunteer visit this link.

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